StoryRhyme After Dark: Grandpa's Chess Set




“Grandpa taught me how to play chess, don’t you remember?” Eva said as her grandmother joined her in the closet looking through boxes that had been accumulating for almost fifty years in the apartment her mother had grown up in."

Laura G. has sent us a story about loss that we can all relate to. When we lose someone dear to us, we keep our loved one alive with our memories of them. Sometimes a particular object will provide a connection to that person. After I lost my dad, many years ago, my mom gave me a couple of his belongings that she thought would have particular significance to me...

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An Open Letter to _______ Concerning Fruitcakes


When I was a young girl, far-off relatives would send the family a fruitcake every year before Christmas, and every year it would sit in the middle of the dining room table untouched. In moments of desparation, I'd try to carefully extract the tiny bits of cake from the surrounding fruit and nuts only to end up frustrated, cursing it. But maybe a fruitcake is more than just a fruitcake...

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StoryRhyme After Dark: Christmas Story




Just in time for the holidays, StoryRhyme.com is happy to present a short story by our friend Harry Buschman, "Christmas Story." Many of us are familiar with the story of Joseph and Mary searching for a night's lodgings and being turned away...

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I'm Thankful for Green Day


These three go without saying, but can't be understated: I'm thankful that Husband, Charlie and I are all in good health. The people in our lives are what make life worth living. Besides those three, what else am I thankful for..? Read More...

We Love "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" (and why you should too)



Charlie, our middle schooler, brought home "Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a novel in cartoons" by Jeff Kinney the other day. I don't think I've ever seen him laugh so much at one book. Silly, gleeful laughter. But, many parents don't like this series. Why..?

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Picture of the Week & Baseball


Some of you sharp people out there have figured out that for the past few weeks, StoryRhyme.com has been putting up a picture of the week on the front page of our site. Husband scrolls through his collection and picks one that strikes his fancy. We'll see what the coming weeks will bring...

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StoryRhyme After Dark: Brimstone



"Sadie Devons was declared to be a witch, but in an age when witches were burned at the stake, she enjoyed a long and comfortable life. She owed it all to her one eyed cat “Brimstone,” she said. It was a handsome cat; jet black except for her left front paw, which was white as snow..."

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Lung Cancer, Robots, and Devil Dog


Yesterday, my mother-in-law was put under anesthesia and this robot removed the upper lobe of her left lung....

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On Being Not So Nice


I haven't been very nice lately.  I don't know why... Read More...

Fall Forward (and the Dog's Birthday)


Fall feels like the possibility that something new and exciting is about to happen. There's something in the air. Even the color of the light is a little different. To make sense of this...

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Lancelot! (the Lovebird)


I've been chained to my computer for the past week, working on three very long days of deposition testimony. Charlie's been in school for a month now and is taking Spanish. "Hola, Paco. Que tal?" Husband has a new project that occupies his every waking moment (don't ask), and Chance the Dog leads a mysterious double life... Read More...

StoryRhyme After Dark: Waiting



"The old man was a great reader. He could be a princess, a king or a roaring dragon and the children would be all ears and wide eyes with their blankets pulled up to their chins, and they would listen with rapt attention. He read well because he believed every word he read, and his belief made the children believe too. They never wanted their father or mother to read, they always asked for grandfather..."

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Remembering 9/11


They cared about their fellow human beings, often putting the safety of strangers above their own. Heroes, true heroes, were made that day... Read More...

TeachersFirst.com Likes Us...


"Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign your students some of these stories to read..." Read More...

Party Games and Why They Rule


Somewhere along the line, a paradigm shift occurred in party giving from the old model of games, party hats, cake, and presents to throwing up a bouncer in the backyard (or the front -- ugh) and leaving the kids to fend for themselves while the adults sit around talking...

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Behind the Story: Old Folks At Home


“First of all I'm a nonagenarian – too old to be learning new things and probably too old to be giving advice as well. But never too old to tell stories about the way things used to be...”

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StoryRhyme.com Welcomes PartSelect.com


The other day I mentioned out loud that we had just received another advertising inquiry, Husband snickered from the other room, then rumbled (he does that) over to me and read the email from PartSelect.com over my shoulder. We both felt that there was something familiar about this one. Husband rifled through browser bookmarks... Read More...

Wisdom Teeth and Why We Have Them (Pulled Out)


I woke up, looked in the mirror and was startled to see the bullfrog with a hangover staring back at me. An up side is my clothes are starting to feel looser as a result of nothing solid entering my mouth since the night before the surgery... Read More...

"The Most Awesome Fort Ever": Updated



Update: The roof was raised (while I bit my nails nervously) and the rest project proceeded without incident until Husband injured himself (twice) on the final day of the build...

Monday, August 10, 2009 • This morning, I sat on the newly-installed floor and read the morning paper while Charlie counted the bumblebees making their way to the Angel Trumpets. The breeze was cool and lovely.  Charlie told me about the falcon he'd spotted a few minutes before...

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The Drive-In


Husband pulled the car in and parked on one of the asphalt berms, jockeying the car a bit to get just the right angle for viewing, and I was flooded with memories of my childhood, of the playground underneath the massive screen, the snack bars that smelled like grease, and the endless rows of cars with lawn chairs lined up alongside them... Read More...

Mad Men (and the women they loved)


Ah, the ’60s were great, weren’t they? Doris Day, clean-cut all-American astronauts, Mitch MIller, Look magazine... How we all long for that joy-filled, unpretentious time. Let’s take a look back at that wonderful era as seen through the lens of our advertising media. What were we selling ourselves? What did we want? Oh, and see if you spot the fake ad...

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Girl of Summer


As a girl, I looked forward to being an adult when I'd have the means to drive to the beach (or maybe even live there) whenever I wanted. Then, the long summers at the bikini girl/surfer beach where we went to see and be seen: smuggling in wine coolers which we'd sneak drink when the beach patrol wasn't looking. It would have been inconceivable to me to find that the adult me might only make it to the beach once a summer... Read More...

Boys: Seriously Seeking Bigfoot


Charlie was the first new male addition to the family in 45 years and I find myself delighting in his boyish peculiarities. The world is a mysterious place and Charlie is determined to look for the answer to as many of those mysteries as he can...
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Las Vegas Road Trip


My feelings about this town can be summed up with the fact that I'm most happy when I can see it in my rearview mirror. A go-go dancer in a micro-micro bikini doing her dance is right in front of me and not 10 feet away, a giant plastic SpongeBob Squarepants advertises the “SpongeBob in 4-D” ride; you know, for the kids...

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The Last Day and the Fake Moustaches


Husband and I have our own coping method which involves going to the very farthest booth away from the action and trying to stay above the fray...

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Of Bridal Showers, School-Year's End & Job Preservation


I sat in the old friend section and cringed as our group spilled drinks and got a little too loud...

June has proven to be a busy month.  In Charlie’s head, summer vacation started about two weeks ago...

Such a bad idea, one wonders who's gotten ahold of him to put these ideas in his head or if he's come up with this all by himself... Read More...

Bragging: Updated


It's so obnoxious when parents go on and on about their child's latest accomplishments.  No one wants to hear it, with the exception of close friends and relatives (well, really not even they, Husband reminds me).

You may know that this has been Charlie's first year at the impossible-to-get-into charter "academy" and we were crossing our fingers that the year would go well for him; the anxiety we went through at the beginning of the year and just before, the uncertainty about pulling him away from his old friends and his comfort zone... Read More...

Behind the Story: Down Went The Spoon



Down Went The Spoon is an imaginative look at childhood from the perspective of a little one who's growing and discovering that gravity is often working against her. Oh, and the little one who inspired this story? She’lll be beginning college in the fall. We wish her well. My, how time flies...

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Looking “Up”



We see the couple starting off as newlyweds and watched them age before our eyes. I thought of my own marriage and growing old with Husband...

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Summer Poetry Kicks


The first time I heard it, I scoffed at the idea of it actually being considered a poem. (I admit, I am a scoffer sometimes.) Something about it, though, has gotten to me. Every time I read it, I like it a bit more. Maybe it's its economical use of words... Read More...

This Is Just To Say...


This Is Just To Say...

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast.

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

-- William Carlos Williams
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Thoughts About Mom


Uh, that’s hard for me to look at too and way too big, but looking through the newspaper ads (yeah, we still get a real paper newspaper), I learn that moms just love $48.97 diamond heart pendants...

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Random Thoughts On a Workday


The couple at the next table bring out their Wet Wipes to clean their hands before they eat, then ask for paper napkins instead of cloth. I have a fascination with pandemics, possibly because I am a direct descendant of a Spanish flu victim or maybe because I watched the movies Andromeda Strain and Omega Man too many times as a child...

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No Reading Aloud, Mr. Troublemaker


Husband visited with Mr. Troublemaker and asked him how things were going this year. What he found was a teacher on the verge of losing his spark; the thing that keeps teaching exciting for him. Earlier in the school year he was caught reading "The Phantom Tollbooth" out loud to his classroom and received a written reprimand and the threat of a suspension without pay if he ever does it again... Read More...

"The Year of Magical Thinking"


I remember after my dad died thinking back to the days before when he'd complained of pain in his left arm.  We later knew that this was a sign.  If only we'd done something.  The kind of thinking seemed to perpetuate this feeling of re-emergence, as if we could turn back time if only we had done the right thing.  If only.

Flash forward: With spring break drawing to a close, the boys and I went out after dinner to Barnes & Noble to look around and give Charlie a chance to use up his remaining gift card from Christmas.  Husband was looking for a last-minute gift (the next day being my birthday)...
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Story Telling


So many of us record our stories, our lives, in our blogs for everyone to read (or not). I thought about how an illness or accident can take us and change us so completely. One day we're walking around, minding our own business, the next we're confronting our own mortality and weaknesses. We all have our stories. But then, I also thought, some stories really need to go into the vault, never to be heard again. Let’s talk about apples... Read More...

No Fwd:

No Fwd: Tee

We all get them, those noxious (and obnoxious) forwards.  The platitudes, the schmaltz, the misinformation -- the horror!  My favorite lately was the one about how Mister Rogers was a Navy SEAL and he wore those long-sleeved sweaters because his arms were covered with tattoos...

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Behind the Story: Eli The Flying Dog


We'd have to spell out words around him, and he'd play hide-and-go-seek with us throughout the house...

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Frivolous Facts: Borborygmi? Pardon Me...

While I didn't find any concrete answers to that rumbling problem, I did find some creative suggestions for dealing with it such as slouching -- the theory behind this being that the fold of stomach fat (thanks) will help muffle the rumble noises; I love that one...
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Raising Cane


Ash has fond memories of growing up with sugar cane everywhere. Sugar, theirs for the taking, all they had to do was cut it open (carefully avoiding the outer stalks with their razor-sharp edges)...

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It’s Neighbor Day: Some Random Thoughts on Coffee, Yardwork, and Mr. Rogers?

My happiness level is a little on the low side since I've given up coffee and chocolate. Cognitively I don't feel as sharp as I should be and have to admit to being a little depressed. (Coffee is a mood elevator?) So I've been cheating a little and allowing myself a tiny cup (I mean tiny, like a demitasse cup) of coffee once a day as desperation sets in... Read More...

Frivolous Facts: Friday the 13th


Do numbers have inherent power? Numerologists believe so. Me? Nahh, I'm not superstitious at all. Not me. In fact, I have my purse sitting on the floor next to me as I type. You've never heard? “Purse on the floor, money out the door..?”

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"Unnecessary" Quotations


Instead of simply stating the plural "Smiths" on the mat, it reads "Smith's." This begs the question, does one person live here? Why an apostrophe at all? This drives me crazy...

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So Much for Not Worrying

So my Lenten no-worry policy lasted for about three days. Those were good days. On day two, I noticed my right breast was swollen but didn't worry yet. After a couple more days, I decided to see my oncologist... Read More...

Frivolous Facts: TASER


“I've got something I'd like to show you."

"A new invention?"

"Well, not exactly new. You've seen it before, but not since I've improved it. I'm speaking of my new electric rifle. I've got it ready to try, now, and I'd like to see what you think of it...”

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Behind The Story: Two Many Dogs!


I was going to title this story "Big Dog and Little Dog" until Charlie, resident Captain Underpants scholar and expert, informed me that that was the title of a line of Dav Pilkey books. Well, live and learn...

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My Ode to Thrift Stores


Patience is a virtue when it comes to thrift store shopping, and as the Stones say, "You can't always get what you want." I have to say, though, we've been pretty lucky. We have great memories of great finds at the now-defunct BargainTown, including a two-foot tall authentic (made in Japan) Godzilla action figure...

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I'm Giving Up Worrying for Lent

One year I gave up chocolate. It wasn't that hard. There are lots of desserts out there without chocolate. I could have had a glazed donut every day and kept my promise. What is there left to give up? Aside from my husband, son, and our ridiculous dog... Read More...

One Million Visitors And Counting

Sometime yesterday, our ten-thousandth visitor (made ya’ look) stopped by... Read More...

How Do We Love Our Neighbor If We Don't Even Like Them?

Note: This post is NOT about my neighbors who are pretty likeable...

Our friends have neighbors who are odd and for some reason seem to enjoy causing problems for all those around them... Read More...

The Next Week...

It was just about a week or two later that my coworker in costume jewelry (and a total head case, I might add) coerced me into tagging along on one of her dates... Read More...

Pieces of My Heart and Random Valentine's Day Thoughts


Years ago, when I was still in school, I worked the costume jewelry counter at JC Penney.  It was a pretty sucky, mind-numbing job and didn't last too long; but I remember the days leading up to Valentine's Day, the rush of last-minute guys shopping for wives and girlfriends.  They certainly weren't the big spenders; we didn't have anything over let's say $50...

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I Heart Jack Johnson

I heard Upside Down today on the radio and it motivated me to share the gospel of Jack Johnson with the uninitiated out there... Read More...

Just Can't Help Myself

I was going to write about Charlie's quarterly parent-teacher conference but decided not to go there. Suffice it to say (just can't help myself), Charlie's home room teacher wasn't happy... Read More...

What We're Reading Now, Charlie and I

Chance the dog has been reading with us since he was half his size.  When it's time (and he always seems to know when it's story time), he runs down the hall and jumps onto Charlie's bed, trying to take up every inch of the beach towel I have spread out for him.  He seems to enjoy the calm of the spoken word; I'm not sure if he really "gets" the stories though... Read More...

Behind the Story: Is Grandma Okay?


Our friend Laura G. has sent us a new story. When I read it, I was struck by how it applied to my family at this moment in time. Last week, my mother-in-law was in the hospital for a few days. She's okay, but we, our son especially, have to deal with the fact that she's getting older...

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Behind the Story: Hiccup the Burping Dog Also Looks Up


A few days ago, Chance was doing some serious barking in the backyard. I thought maybe there were men working in the trees (the phone company), so I went out, only to find him, full of righteous indignation, barking at a jet that was leaving behind a very long contrail...

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Living in my Head; The last Week of Vacation

The last few days, I've been living in my head entirely too much, worrying about my ill brother a thousand miles away; also thinking about my mom and sister Mary caring for him. Mom says I worry too much, which is true. Worry is such an unproductive use of energy, but there's an element of guilt there too. How can one blissfully go about their lives when they have loved ones suffering? The great thing about kids (and pets maybe to a lesser degree) is they force us to move forward, propelling us out of bed, out into the world... Read More...

StoryRhyme After Dark: A Divorce Story for Parents and Children

“Sometimes Corinna wonders why they got married if they don’t like each other so much that all they do is yell at each other. If her father tells her mother that she’s fat and ugly, and her mother says that he’s nasty and selfish, then why did they get married? She thought that love was forever. Did her parents not love each other? Then why did they get married. Maybe her parents pretended that they loved each other. Maybe they pretend that they love her and Amanda. Maybe her parents really are like what they say to each other? Is her mother useless..?” Read More...

Inching Into The New Year

The cold makes me tired. Yesterday, Chance the Dog was more than happy to take a winter's nap with me. Sleeping is one of his favorites and he's more than happy to have a nap buddy... Read More...

Our New Year Poll; And Some Things I've Learned in 2008

Happy New Year everyone..! This month's poll asks the burning question: New Year's Resolutions -- do you or don't you (make them, that is)? Do you simply hate change? Click on “Another answer...” and you can also supply your own. The poll’s right in the sidebar there. Inquiring minds want to know... Read More...